When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (played heartbreakingly by Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district and entertains businessmen after work. Sly, resourceful, but trapped, Keiko comes to embody the conflicts and struggles of a woman trying to establish her independence in a male-dominated society. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs shows the largely unsung yet widely beloved master Naruse at his most socially exacting and profoundly emotional.
Director Naruse Mikio. 111 mins, 1960. In Japanese with subtitles
Presented in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Art and the History of Art, the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, and The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, in conjunction with Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination, August 25 to December 30, 2012, featuring over 100 woodblock prints, photographs and objects, portraying Tokyo in light of the city's continual reinvention in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Film series sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation
With introduction by Prof. Timothy Van Compernolle of Amherst College
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